Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Charlotte is not a name for a dog. Not really. But, that's the name she was given, the day a certain sister gathered a, black as ink, fur ball in her arms and fell in love. She held her like a baby and said, "You look like a Charlotte to me." We decided to bring the pup home. Another dog.

"We aren't getting another dog." These are the words I eat everyday I look at Charlotte.

We have had dogs in the past. And as much as I loved the dogs we've owned, I admit, they did not get the kind of love and attention they deserved.

So, eventually, we found them better homes.

I did not want another dog to endure us again.

"Maybe we just aren't a dog family." I thought.

But, deep down, I wanted to be.

So did that sister. She would pray every night for Jesus to bring us a good dog.

Six months past and she continued to pray, "Lord, help us find a dog."

We thought her hope would fade with time, it just grew stronger. She bought the "Dog Bible" and scoured it...learning breeds & temperments, until it was tattered and worn. She kept a journal with list upon list of prospective dogs. She would cry at night for Otis.

"Black Lab Pups For Sale" read the sign alongside a country road that cold December day almost one year ago.

"We are not getting a Lab." I said.

"We are not getting a Lab." Daddy said.

But you know that we did. And you know that we love her.

We don't deserve a dog like Charlotte, but God knew better.

And just like the famous spider who saved Wilbur's bacon....I'm beginning to see that this Charlotte has done the same, for a whole family who was in need of a little miracle.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Aaron Shust- My Hope is in You

I'm loving this song right now...the words are good and true.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


We sold our house today. I should say that God sold our house. I know that because it sold in one month. We've sold four homes in our 12 years of marriage. Two of them have sold in the past year and a half. These are some of the hardest times in decades as far as the housing market goes and God has covered us so graciously. We will be moving back to Oregon in about a month. The Farmhouse we tried for sold to another family. We don't know where we will live yet. He does. I'm tired, so I'll let the God who doesn't sleep take care of the rest.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Divine Surprise

Have you ever been surprised by God?

I mean the kind that spin you around,

knees to the ground,

humbling to the core kind of God surprises?

~Aaron has been traveling for over 2 weeks now. We have been in the process of selling our home in Massachusetts for a little over a month. We have had over 20 showings...that's the majority of the, staging, showing, hoping. Then, the kids and I flew to Oregon for the weekend...time to house hunt...again. Heart on a yo-yo...we fall into the arms of family and begin the search. It all hurts still, you know. Pine Street is occupied. Evergreen School is full. Back to square one. We are different. Each one of our hearts struggle over reconciling lessons learned in the lessons of faith, hope, and who are when we move back. It's strange and unsettling. So you start to panic. You grasp for home. Your wings are spent. What you thought you knew & wanted unravels before your eyes. You're left undone. That's when He comes a whisper. Gentleman that He is, no forcefulness. Just a little nudge, and...Surprise! You know why He did. Because of all those years ago...when your little girl heart said, "Not my will but Thine be done." And that will is Good. And plenty. And right. There are no details to the gift, not even any you surrender the gift to the Giver and He gives beauty for the burnt up faithless heart that you bring. What a wonderful God. And...

In place of 6 secluded acres...He may give 1 lovely acre. Instead of quiet country road...a highway. In place of all those homes you've let go...The Farmhouse of your dreams. It may be neither "country school house" or "house-school"...but bus stops and big school and exposure and kids coming around who are not at all like mine, all the time. And that's the surprise...His surprise of love...

His will, WILL be done..this is the gift all along....

His enduring love and divine plan that overrides all my fruitless attempts at steering His ship.

Thank You Father.

(photo above: Elizabeth reminding me of God's surprising detail in the little things)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


There is a boy in our neighborhood who is 10 years old and has a form of Autism known as Aspergers. I love talking with Dylan. I enjoy his perspective on life. I'm in awe of how much he knows, especially about Mars.

I have a son who does not live with Aspergers but also loves Mars.

After school today, Ben was playing in our woods...close to the ground...inspecting microscopic things as usual...when he came running inside and bolted up the stairs.

Next thing I know, that blonde, string bean of a boy is flying down the stairs, book in hand, on his way outside...calling over his shoulder as he went,

"I have to show Dylan this book about Mars that I picked out from the library today, he will love it."

I could see the two of them from the laundry room window, sitting side by side on the favorite fallen tree...pouring over books together.

There are obvious things about Dylan that make him unique. Most of the kids in the neighborhood gladly include Dylan in their games, but I've never noticed any one of them spend time specifically with just him.

Ben did.

Not because he had to...but because he wanted to.

Dylan is in his own world...

and Ben was welcomed into the beauty of it today.

(photo above: Ben sampling the "Twin Suns" toast he made from his favorite Star Wars Cookbook)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Don't Blink

Because before you can even take a breath they seem to be closer to grown up than little...well, two of them at least. Miss Elizabeth Jane did not go to school today but needed to have a backpack and a lunch (packed by her own two independent little hands of course.) She spent the morning shooting baskets with mommy ay the YMCA and taking her own sweet time picking out books at the library. Mommy knows better than to hurry these days. There will be no guilt over reading and an afternoon away together. Time is a treasure.

(Elizabeth~ 4 years old and chomping at the bit to get to preschool next week)
(Abby Sue~ 10 years old and making her own breakfast)
(Ben~ 8 years old and in my opinion the best age in a boys life)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

End of Summer Favorites

Last Weekend of Summer Vacation with the Carney's in Westport
Vintage curtain in natural light, Sara, & the sea
Hike up to the top of Blue Hill with the kids and poor Lottie...she was exhausted!
Hurricane Irene=5 days without power, an excuse to clean out the fridge, cook up 2 pounds of bacon, 24 hard boiled eggs, and play hide & seek all day with the kiddos.
Getting ready to ride the T into Boston with Grampa & Nana
Sandcastles at the Cape

I didn't think it would be warm enough to go in the water that day...hence the no bathing suit/underwear look. I wish I was four again.
Sand covered boy feet
Tea Party with Grampa
Grandparents love to buy these things for kids...(cotton candy maker, blizzard machine...
and a Rapunzel wig of course!)
Nap time with Grampa
Ice Cream Snack Shop at the Vermont Country Store
Nana and her babies!


August is Autumn's appetizer. She calls us to linger and listen. Her fields are alive with life sounds. Her sunlight... like the last bits of an old fire burning out. She's more end then beginning. She chronicles days by bug bites and buttered corn on the cob. The sweetness of August makes us ready for the seasoning of Fall. You are tempted to cling to her. Your hurried pace becomes a stroll...embracing the spell of it all. She sprinkles the kids with freckles and covers their little feet with calloused soles. August is sand...everywhere, sea glass collecting, and flying over the white tips of cresting August you've been good to me.